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SDLP alternative budget amounts to one single flawed financial proposal - Ó Muilleoir

10 February, 2016

Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has pledged support for Victims and Survivors Services and staff at the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister in light of a proposal by SDLP Finance Spokesperson Claire Hanna to arbitrarily remove  £800,000 from its budget allocation.

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said: 

“The SDLP’s so-called alternative budget had just one single proposal — to raid OFMDFM coffers in order to fund a shortfall in women’s centre childcare amenities — despite the fact that Minister Maurice Morrow has indicated he is about to extend funding to the women’s centres to the end of this budget period. 

“The SDLP cut in the OFMDFM budget cut could only have two outcomes: the loss of around 20 jobs or the axing of services such as the Victims and Survivors Services which has an annual budget of just over £800,000. 

“The SDLP need to tell staff at OFMDFM how they would select personnel for their P45s and how they would justify refusing redundancy payments as they have allocated no costs to their £800,000 cut.

“They also have to tell vulnerable users of OFMDFM services, such as refugee and asylum speakers or victims and survivors, how they would justify removing their services.

"The SDLP is entitled to oppose a budget which successfully passed with £4.8bn for allocated health, £2bn for education and £505m in welfare top-ups while also capping tuition fees, blocking water charges and defending free travel for the elderly but they should withdraw their threat to the services and staff at OFMDFM."

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